Listen to a Full Recording of the Hit ‘The Shining’ Opera


Depending on the level of your Stephen King/Stanley Kubrick/The Shining/opera fandom, you may have already known about an adaptation of the novel — in opera form! — that dared exist beyond the beloved film, and premiered at the Minnesota Opera back in May of this year. (It was composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Moravec, and Mark Campbell did the libretto.)

And while it’s easy to be dubious of stage versions of stories that’ve already become canonical films, the opera based on King’s third novel about writer/father Jack Torrance (who brings his wife and son to the Overlook Hotel for a bit of quality family time, and encounters the typical vacation inconvenience of getting possessed by the hotel) earned very positive reviews. WSJ said it “elevates the tale from a horror story to a human drama” while the Denver Post praised its “fearless stagecraft…daredevil score and…libretto that’s unafraid to take audiences who avoid horror as a matter of habit and good taste into another world.”

Now, as Indiewire notes, people who might be excited by such reviews but didn’t get to catch the opera in its first production can now listen to it, thanks to the Minnesota Opera and the Classical Minnesota Public Radio, who’ve made the a full live recording of the opera available to stream, through November 30.

Listen to it on Classical MPR’s website, which has kindly also included a scene-by-scene description; you’ll be particularly pleased with this version if you (like King himself) thought the film strayed too far from the novel, as this is said to follow it more loyally. (Of course, others surely won’t want to — or be able to — dissociate this story from Kubrick’s singular interpretation.)